contributed by Leanne Guenther
This cute little Kachina Doll replica is simple for young children to make. It uses a cardboard tube as the base to give it a three dimensional look -- other than that, it's just a basic color, cut and paste craft.
Kachina Dolls were (and still are) given to children (girls) during the Spring Bean planting ceremony to decorate and bless their homes and teach the children about the different spirits of the land. This one is Sio Shalako, the rain spirit. There were about 400 different little dolls for the girls to collect over the years -- butterfly, deer, eagle, sun, cloud, rain, bumblebee, mouse -- you get the idea.
The dolls were hand carved (usually by the person giving it) from cottonwood roots. Traditionally they didn't have legs (they looked a lot like one of my cardboard tube crafts!) but modern ones are often carved with separate legs and arms.
You can still purchase authentic Kachina Dolls from Hopi artisans. The Hopi are a Native American Nation in the Arizona area of the United States. Over the years, though it has been difficult at times, the Hopi have managed to maintain their unique and independent culture and language.
A note on masks versus dolls: in the Hopi culture, the dolls can by freely shared with others. The masks/costumes of the spirits, on the other hand, are more culturally siginificant and are not to be shared with those outside of the nation. That's why I've included a doll craft but not a mask one.
- cardboard tube (toilet paper roll)
- something to decorate with (crayons, markers, paints, etc).
- paper and printer
- Print the template of choice.
- If using the B&W template, use markers, pencil crayons, stickers or paints to color in the kachina.
- Cut out the template.
- Glue the large rectangular piece around the toilet paper roll.
- Fold the tabs on the feet and glue them to the bottom of the cardboard roll.
- Glue the head onto the top of the roll (on a real Kachina doll, the feathers are often real ones and sometimes carved and painted ones -- you could add a few real feathers to decorate if you like).
- Glue the band around the bottom of the cardboard roll.
- The colors used tend to be primary colors -- blue, red, yellow with white and black as well. For this particular Kachina, the face is usually a blue-green color (blue-green for a rain spirit).
- Close the template window after printing to return to this screen.
- Set page margins to zero if you have trouble fitting the template on one page (FILE, PAGE SETUP or FILE, PRINTER SETUP in most browsers).